Lady Bard’s suggestions on managing self isolation

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This is by no means medical advice but in the hope that this is useful I would like to share some tips that I have learnt through dealing with incapacitating illness while living alone:-

Self-isolating – feeling reasonably well

Set up a watch with your neighbours, this can be as simple as if I haven’t opened my living room curtains by X time, I need assistance. Exchange phone numbers or emergency contact details. Insure that the contact can locate a key in case emergency services need access.

Check in with a family member or a friend by phone daily, this not only helps to monitor symptoms but helps with any feelings of isolate, we are more likely to be positive when talking with others.

If you live a busy life, you may consider this a good time to slob out but after a day or two you may find yourself feeling over restless. Keep up the hygiene routine, get dressed its good for self-esteem.

Maintaining fitness, try adding exercise into your daily routine. Putting on your favourite tunes, dancing and singing is a great morale booster.

You may consider using the time to tackle jobs around the house, do so in bite size pieces, being ill in the middle of chaos can feel soul destroying.

Have a variety of things to do and alternate what you do helps keep frustration at bay.

Weather permitting get out in the garden boost your vitamin D levels. Air the house daily.

Drink water, eat well. Forget stodgy foods, fresh is best. I make up batches of homemade soup and freeze them. When you are feeling ill food needs to be easy to prepare. I find drinks like hot water with the juice of half lemon, chopped fresh ginger and honey a good boost. Don’t forget to keep a few treats in for the low points. Keep the mineral and vitamin levels up, the healthier you are the better your body can fight.

Use the time, it is an excellent opportunity to touch base with oneself. Meditation is great, but you could try painting or drawing to help express feelings. When our world becomes narrower in focus we often take more notice of the smaller things and become more present in our surroundings. The key is to relax.

Listen to your body, it often knows best what it needs.

Keep a record of symptoms and medication taken, it may prove useful.

Bed bound

By this stage hopefully your contacts have flagged concerns and you are receiving medical care. As we do not know how things will pan out and fever can strike quickly. In my experience you wavier in and out of consciousness, with short windows to act.

Keep a phone by your bedside, if a mobile don’t forget the charger, set your redial button to your emergency contact. You are more likely to be able to press a button or answer a call, than fathom the workings of a phone.

Things to have by your bedside:

A supply of water

Any medication by the side of a clock try to make a mental note of when you last took your medication. Put a day’s dose on the bedside table. Leaving the curtains open also helps the body get some measure of time, as we respond to light.

A kettle and bowl, steam is good for clearing airways.

A bucket.

Towel and flannel. If you cannot change the bed sheets lie on a towel to absorb the sweat, easier to change. A cold wet flannel on the back of the neck can help cooling.

A fan is also good. If not open the window, if it’s too cold open a window in an adjacent room and leave the doors in between open. Ventilation is important.

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